Fans of the Netflix Marvel shows have reason to be happy right now. Hawkeye is teasing the return of Kingpin and Kevin Feige has confirmed that Charlie Cox will reprise Matt Murdock/Daredevil (potentially as soon as this week’s Spider-Man: No Way Home).
But while Daredevil fans can pop open the champagne, things aren’t looking quite so rosy for Jon Bernthal’s The Punisher. In September, Bernthal was asked if he’d play Frank Castle again and didn’t sound particularly positive, saying: “You know, we’ll see. I mean, honestly, I don’t think about it very much.”
That’d be a shame, because of the four men to play Castle he’s by far the best. There’s always a danger that he can simply be a gun-toting action hero, though Bernthal brought a fresh complexity that benefited from the longer run-time of a TV show.
Marvel Executive Vice President and Creative Director Joe Quesada agrees. In an interview with the Prop Store he explained that Bernthal was perfect for the part:
“Jon was this up-and-coming star, you know, we’d seen him in a bunch of different things but we just knew that this was Frank Castle. It’s very easy, I think, to portray a character like that in a very one-dimensional manner. But number one, he had scripts that were incredibly deep and rich and Jon brought so much to the character of Frank.”
Quesada specified one scene that particularly impressed him:
“There’s a moment in the last episode of Season 1- where [Bernthal] recites a line — and he recites it right down the barrel of the camera. That’s a Frank Castle I’ve never seen before but was very familiar at the same time. And that’s a credit to Steve and his team, as well as to Jon and the way that he brought that home.”
I can’t disagree. So, with Daredevil back in action, could we soon be saying “welcome back, Frank?” Well, there’s currently an auction selling off the props used in the Netflix show, which doesn’t seem like a good omen.
However, if Marvel Studios did decide to resurrect Bernthal’s character they’d probably use all-new props and costumes (the existing ones may be owned by Netflix anyway).
The only snag could be that Frank Castle’s MCU return may be PG-13. It’s difficult to imagine the character being done justice in a Disney Plus show, so in an ideal world, he’d get an adult-focused Hulu series that’s more MCU adjacent than an intrinsic part of it.
Here’s hoping we hear more about The Punisher soon.